What is Tummy time?
Tummy time is awake time that your baby is put on his/her stomach to promote development.
In this post we will go over the basics of tummy time, why its important, and how to get started with your baby.
Why Tummy Time?
In 1994, a national campaign called Back to Sleep (now Safe to Sleep) began. The campaign promotes newborns and infants that cannot roll over, to be placed on their backs to sleep. Sleeping on their backs reduces that risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
As the campaign took off, parents and pediatricians were seeing babies with the back of their heads flat or misshapen (plagiocephaly). Babies were also weaker in their upper bodies and did not crawl or were delayed in crawling.
Why is Tummy Time important?
What kind of world do you see when you are on your back. Yes there is expensive equipment that you can buy that will have your baby upright in no time. But why the rush? When a baby is on their tummy they start to build their neck and arm muscles. They also build up their ability to breathe deeply and more efficiently. That is just in the first few months.
Positions for Tummy Time
Get a blanket and put them on the floor. But don’t stop there, get down there with them. Play face to face. You can also lie down on the couch and have them on your stomach facing you. Talk to your baby. Or just have them enjoy your heartbeat and warmth.
When on the floor, if your baby fusses, roll a towel or blanket under your baby’s armpits so that it lifts the chest off the floor. This way the baby does not feel like it is suffocating. Do not leave your baby alone. Play with your baby.
How much time?
Tummy time can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 1 hour. The frequency also matters. Plan a set time, no not clock time, but a schedule time. Like after a diaper change, after a nap, before bathtime.
What are the benefits of Tummy Time?
Tummy time is the start of getting your baby to move on his/her own. It will help them to learn to protecting themselves by making them stronger and clear their airway.